3 reasons why you should participate in the Summer Opportunities Fair

The Summer Opportunities Fair happened in late October. Sofia Perez ‘26 is a Career Fellow in the Career Services office. She attended the fair as a student and as a representative for Career Services. Sofia shares her thoughts on why the SOF is a must-attend event for all first-years, sophomores, and juniors!  

As we go on with the semester, you might hear some students talking about their plans for the summer already. You might even think to yourself that it seems a little early to start thinking about internships, research, or projects. Well, let me tell you it is never too early to start thinking about what you might want to do over break. In October, Career Services hosted the Summer Opportunities Fair in Kohlberg, where many departments such as the Lang Center, FLI Office, academic divisions, and others presented the opportunities they had for funding and research for the coming summer. While I know many people have become very familiar and active users of LinkedIn and Handshake to find internships for the coming summer, here is a list of reasons why you might want to look into Swarthmore opportunities first. 

  1. Funding: Many offices offer funding ranging between $5,500 to $10,000 over the summer for students to explore fields and perform research each summer. From the Lang Center Summer Funding to the Division Funding program, you can get paid by the school to work remotely or in person for an area you are genuinely interested in. Suppose you are passionate about a cause and want to lead your own research along with a professional in the field of interest. In that case, these funds are great because you have more freedom to explore interests and create opportunities. 
  2. Experience: If you don’t have any experience in the field you are majoring in or hope to work in, having a summer experience provided by Swarthmore is a great starting point. You might be able to start a small project with faculty or receive funding to work for a non-profit organization that will give you some experience in your field of interest and hopefully help you land your next job or internship. 
  3. Discovery: It is not odd for Swarthmore students to not be aware of the many resources that the school offers (we are so busy and get so many emails!). The Summer Opportunities Fair is a great way to know the resources available like academic funding, research and job opportunities, assistance with job applications, mentoring, etc. Instead of just browsing online, you can talk directly with each department and division to ask questions and where to find more information. It is an opportunity to get to know what is available to you all year and help you plan ahead so you can find out what your next steps are. 

In summary, participating in the Summer Opportunities Fair will provide you with the tools to plan ahead, reach out, and start working on your applications early to place the position you are looking for. Whether that is research, an internship, a full-time job, or an “I don’t know yet”, there are resources available to you that can help you achieve your summer goals. No matter where you are in the process, you are always welcome to stop by Career Services to discuss applications, practice for interviews, or even brainstorm some ideas about what you might want to do for the summer. 

By Sofia Perez Barrios
Sofia Perez Barrios Career Fellow